Admitting that something wasn’t right was very hard for me, as I am sure it is for most people. I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid that people would think that I didn’t love my children. (Because how can someone be depressed when they have such amazing children?)
By the time I got into the doctor, I had entered a dark place. My anxiety had taken up so much of me, both mentally and physically. It’s funny that way, you think it only affects your brain, because it is mental, but it is all attached.
I was nausious, dizzy, I felt, at times, as if my body was vibrating. It scared me. I was afraid to leave my house. I didn’t want to be around people. The thought paralyzed me.
At the time I spent a lot of time asking God why he was putting me through this. I now know that it was so I could share it with others. It was to show me that I could overcome. It was to give others a voice. It is a very difficult thing to admit to. I was extremely nervous to share my story, which is why I knew I had to.
Making a doctor appointment was a very big step for me. Going through with admitting how I was feeling was an even bigger step. And can I just say that as soon as I did, I felt a weight being lifted? It just felt so good to finally say it to a stranger.
As I mentioned in Part 1, I opted for medication. At this point, I was so desperate to feel normal again that I needed the fastest way to do it.
For me, this is what worked best. I got lucky in that I didn’t have any major side effects, and didn’t have to switch medications at all. For anyone else going through this, know that there are other options, and it is completely okay if you want to see what they are and how they work before resorting to medication. In the same breath, it is completely okay to go on medication.
It certainly did not work overnight, but by Thanksgiving I was aleady feeling better, by Christmas I felt like I had my life back, and by my follow up appointment in January, my doctor said it was like I was a different person.
At first, I would have a couple anxious days per week. Now, I have one or two per month, if that. I am able to do so much more without getting completely overwhelmed. And before you ask, yes, I do think that part of the reason for that is that Blake is older.
It is also due to other things I did after the medicine made it possible to finally think straight again.
I started working some hours at my brother’s store, which gives me some time away from my children, and let’s face it, that makes everyone better. I also started an exercise routine, and eating healthier. I write in a journal regularly, and doodle. I started attending MOPS, where I met some wonderful, inspiring women. Along with a wonderful support system. All of this has contributed to a happier and heallthier me.
You hear all the time that the first step is admitting that you have a problem. For me, that was true. Admitting that I needed help, led me to getting help. As a mom, it is incredibly difficult to admit that you can’t handle it all. Well, my friends, it takes a village.
I can’t say that I am cured, because I have yet to go off of the medication, and to be completely honest, I don’t know if I ever will. I realized two things once I started feeling better. One was that I had been suffering from PPA/OCD/Depression since I had Madeline, and just never knew that there was a name for how I felt. The second is that I have always had anxiety.
I have never felt as free as I do now, and am looking so forward to continuing this journey to a happier, healthier, version of myself.
*I would again like to note that I am not, in any way, a health care professional. This is just my own personal experience. If you think you are suffering from any type of mental illness, please contact your doctor. If you are feeling like maybe you can relate to some of this, please do not hesitate to talk to me.*